Home Care or Residential Care – which is the best option for you?
Most people as they age want to continue to live independently in their own home for as long as possible, however, as their care needs increase family or health professionals may suggest a move into a residential aged care home. In the current COVID environment many people are concerned about moving into residential aged care or may be experiencing difficulties finding an aged care home they like, or one that is located near their family and friends, or find a home that has a vacancy for them right now. Moving out of a familiar home into a residential aged care home is a major decision. In this post we explore how in-home care services can assist you to stay living in your own home whether you need a few or many hours of care services each week. Take a look to understand your options between the upheaval of moving into a residential aged care home versus staying in your own home with supportive home care services.
There are many reasons why you may start considering a move into a residential aged care home. We encourage anyone considering this option to also consider how engaging home care services may be a viable alternative option for you.
If you are considering your care options you may relate to one or more of these scenarios:
- Concerned about your safety and falling at home whilst you are alone;
- Needing support whilst you are recovering from an illness or medical procedure;
- Struggling to cook for yourself, keep up with all the housework or the gardening;
- Regularly forgetting to take your medication
- Requiring transport assistance to take you to medical appointments, shopping or on social outings
- Feeling lonely and missing out on social activities you previously enjoyed
Whilst these may be signs that you require some assistance, it is possible to obtain in-home care services to support you and enable you to continue living independently for longer in your own home. Even if you only require home care for a short period either whilst waiting for placement into a residential aged care home or to assist you as you recover from illness, home care services will enable you to stay safe and well at home.
Also if you have regular family support or you live with family members who assist you, home care services can supplement this family support enabling you and them to spend quality time together whilst many of the regular home care tasks including assisting you with your personal care can be completed by our CAREGivers.
Personal Care and Companionship at Home
If you wish to continue living in your own home but aren’t sure if home care services are for you or are worried about someone coming into your home and taking over, be reassured that you have complete choice about the services that are provided.
The advantage of home care is that you can determine when your CAREGiver visits and what services they provide, so you have complete control over your care. For many people having the certainty of knowing that someone will be coming to assist regularly creates peace of mind. So if peace of mind is what you are now looking for, or you are considering a move into residential aged care because your family or spouse are struggling to meet your care needs, then in-home care services are something to consider.
Just imagine no longer worrying about completing the laundry, changing the bed sheets or generally cleaning the house if these now exhaust you; or having someone who can drive you to appointments or take you shopping or on outings to your favourite places.
The personalised nature of in-home care services means that you are in control and are provided with one on one support by your carefully matched CAREGiver. Your CAREGiver will assist you to plan and remember the important things such as upcoming family events, medical appointments, taking your medication, and planning and preparing your favourite meals if this is required. They can also engage with you in activities you enjoy or take you to places you like to visit.
So what is in-home care and how can it help you?
In-home care is a broad term that refers to a range of different support services you can receive at home. You can access as little or as much support as you need and change these services as required. A CAREGiver can come once or twice a week or everyday, even stay overnight.
Home care provides you with access to a trained CAREGiver who will assist you to:
- Do the shopping
- Attend appointments
- Shower and dress
- Plan and prepare meals
- Clean the house and do that laundry
- Remember to your medication or do your exercise
All whilst having someone to talk to and share your stories with.
A CAREGiver is not a nurse and does not provide clinical care however if you have a need to access to nursing services or allied health professionals to visit you at home, then your care manager can organise this for you. Working closely with you and your CAREGiver your care manager will create a personalised plan of care with you and organise any additional services you need, including mobility equipment or home modifications to keep you safe as you move around your home. With a team of professional people to support you at home, they will also ensure your family and medical team are kept up to date as required.
To learn how it works, see this post on how to organise home care without confusion.
Do you live in a multigenerational family?
Having many generations living under one roof is a growing trend in Australia, as families look for ways to share housing and remain close to support and share their lives with each other. The benefits for seniors who require help at home is that your loved ones are there each day, and you can enjoy the companionship they and their family provide.
With more people working from home, this multigenerational living arrangement is becoming more popular and viable for families.
To ensure every member of the family retains their independence, you can arrange for a in-home care service to take care of the aspects of care that your family may prefer not to provide such as personal care, or doing your laundry or taking you to your medical appointments interrupting their day and possibly work.
Before moving in with your family, it is important to discuss how it will work – this article about multigenerational living outlines how to make realistic plans, so everyone is happy with the arrangement.
For mother and daughter Carol and Cornelia, accessing home care has allowed them to continue living together, while each having their own sense of independence. See their story here.
24-hour care at home
One of the most common and compelling reasons for someone to consider moving into a residential aged care home is that they need someone to assist them or be available to support them 24/7. Seniors living with dementia or with significant health issues may require a high level of care which is often considered not to be available to support them in their own home.
However, there is an option to have 24-hour care provided to you in your own home preventing the need to move into residential aged care. 24-hour in-home care services may be required in the following circumstances:
- If you have severe mobility challenges
- If you have high-level health care needs
- To support you when you returning home from the hospital
- If you are living with dementiaor other degenerative diseases that impact your memry or cognistive abilities
- If you have a terminal illness
- Or if you are waiting for placement into a residential aged care home
How does 24-hour home care work?
Your care manager will meet with you and your family to discuss your care needs and create a detailed care plan which documents you care needs and services to be provided to support those needs including your goals, preferences and choices. Your Care Manager will organise any additional services you require which may include nursing or allied health services as well as equipment or home modifications. Your Care Manager can also explain and assist you understand your eligibility and how to access government subsidies to support your home care services.
Depending on your personal situation, you may not require 24-hour care permanently. That was the case for both Lynette and Brian, who after a few week’s saw an improvement in their health and they decided that they no longer required a CAREGiver overnight but still required a CAREGiver to support them for a few hours each day. Similar to Lynette and Brian, many seniors see both their health and general wellbeing improve once they have a CAREGiver to provide home care services. They start to feel safe and comfortable again in their own home.
How to work through your care options
Navigating your care options as you age can be confusing especially if you are attempting this on your own. The simplest way to find out about different care options is to talk through your circumstances and needs with our care manager. We can advise you on your options, assist you to understand your eligibility for government-subsidised home care and provide you with information to enable you to determine if in-home care services will be the best option for you. We are here to answer your call at anytime.
You can find your nearest office here.